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Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous After All

serviscope_minor Re:FUCK SAKE! It was NEVER anonymous (107 comments)

I believe there are some extra crypto additions proposed which would make it much more anonymous rather than pseudonymous. I can't find the article off hand though.

8 hours ago
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How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

serviscope_minor Re:ENIAC wasn't the first (122 comments)

Except for those pesky,slow mechanical relays... and total lack of conditional branches.

Firstly, the thermionic valves of ENIAC are about as far from transistors as electromechanical realays (bar speed and vacuum channel transistors). Second, the Z4 had conditional branches.

The Z4 is far more like a modern computer architecturally than ENIAC, and given that one can make the logic elements out of whatever is to hand. Zuse AG later sold transistorised versions of the Z4.

yesterday
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How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

serviscope_minor Re:ENIAC wasn't the first (122 comments)

Yes, but he didn't fail, because that's not what he said. He said first electronic programmable computer. The Z1 (and successors) were electromechanical. Still impressive in their own right, true, but nothing like the electronic computers that were invented later.

Indeed, the Z1--Z4 were not much like the electronic computers built shortly later. They were in fact much more like the electronic computers built *decades* later.

Bear in mind that Eniac was a decimal machine, whereas the Z? machines were binary. ENIAC was an integer based machine, whereas the Z? machines had hardware floating point and for all except the Z1, this included denormals and exceptions. ENIAC was programmed using plugs and switches where as the Z? machines had machine code stored on tape with overlapped pipelined instruction decoding.

In almost every way, the Z? machines were much more like modern computers than ENIAC ever was.

yesterday
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How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

serviscope_minor Re:Except... (122 comments)

Either way though the Z3 beat them both out. It definitely fits the only reasonable definition of a computer: Turing complete but with limited memory, though this is possibly something of a cheat. It predates either of those two.

History, however is written by the winners.

If you don't know about the Z3, you should read about it. Konrad Zuse was a bit of a dude to put it mildly, with a long list of inventions.

The Z1 was "just" a programmable calculating machine. He built it from sheet metal in his parent's living room. It used booloean logic, and pioneered the use of floating point.

The Z3 replaced the unreliable mechanics of the Z1 with relays and was much better. It also completed floating point arithmetic, including exceptions, +/-INF and NaN equivalent. It was programmed via an external tape, rather than plug board rewiring. It also had a terminal for input and output. One of the best bits: the Z3 was severely limited in clock speed unning at about 4Hz, so to get the most out if the relays it had a 3 stage pipeline with overlaping instructions.

It was completed in 1943.

The Z4 was completed in 1945 and was even better, also including a conditional branch instruction (something the Z3 lacked).

ENIAC was a very fine achievement, but wasn't thr first computer.

yesterday
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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

serviscope_minor Re:Problem? (183 comments)

Apologies. In my defence I've actually had people use that argument in all seriousness. Satire becomes reality.

No worries. I've seen that argument too, which is why I was satirising it. I realised after that there is no way to tell that I'm satirising it rather than using it.

yesterday
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Attack of the One-Letter Programming Languages

serviscope_minor Re:D is not bad (125 comments)

Unfortunately while it isn't bad, it doesn't have any real killer features that would make you bother with it compared to C++. I like to play with it, but I wouldn't risk using it for anything serious.

Pretty much this. It's like C++ on steroids with much better templating, and while it seems much nicer, there's not all that much it makes vastly better. Also, there was a version 1 which is now deprecated and now a version 2. the nice thing about C++ is the standards body try really REALLY hard to not break anyone's code from version to version. That is very valuable for long running projects.

Looking at D, it came out in 2001 and is on its second major version. I was working on a library still in reasonably use recently, and found comments from 2002 (before it was put into version control), so just that library is as old as the D language.

The code from 2002 is fine and I do like not having to rewrite code.

2 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

serviscope_minor Re:I don't want to live in your future, mister. (453 comments)

Can I worship you

You may: I shall grant you that favour.

BTW: your standards for technically literate are awfully low.

2 days ago
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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

serviscope_minor Re:Problem? (183 comments)

Are you oafishly trying to say that AGW is unfalsiable?

Sigh, poe's law strikes again. No, it is falsifiable. That often leasds through the chain of reasoning (by creationists and AGW deniers) of falsifiable = something that DOES falsify it = false

I was mocking that.

2 days ago
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Attack of the One-Letter Programming Languages

serviscope_minor Re:D is not bad (125 comments)

If only it were free.

Aren't there GCC and LLVM D compilers now?

2 days ago
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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

serviscope_minor Re:Problem? (183 comments)

Next question?

OK, AGW is falsiable, right? So, can you please falsify it? I'd ve very greatful, thanks!

3 days ago
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Apple To Donate Profit Portion From Black Friday For AIDS Fight

serviscope_minor Re:Oh great, the Master of the iFlop blowing more (102 comments)

Jobs was a hippie.

It's a well known traint of hippies to steal[*] ideas from others, then sue those people to try to stop them using their own ideas.

[*] A stupid word, but it was his choice.

3 days ago
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Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

serviscope_minor Re:The French are the world's Standards Board (371 comments)

it's not some feminazi conspiracy

u wot m8?

Seriously?

Urinals are a much better use of floor space than stalls. You can fit far more in a given space. Also, men seem perfectly capable of pissing all over a toilet seat. I'd much rather there were slightly messy uninals so I can take a shit without sitting in someone's piss.

Also the US thing seemed to be nothing to do with hygine, and all to do with a bunch of nutcases.

3 days ago
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Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

serviscope_minor Re:Their job is dangerous (474 comments)

Because their job is genuinely dangerous unlike yours.

Blah fucking blah. Taxi driving is more dangerous than policing. Should taxi drivers get to beat the shit out of people then take a paid vacation? No? Then neither should the police.

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

serviscope_minor Re:I don't want to live in your future, mister. (453 comments)

Why would I bother? If you don't think it's worth your effort to make your own post readable then it's certainly not worth my effort to read it.

And notepad? You want me to install Windows just so I can read your post? Seems excessive.

3 days ago
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2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

serviscope_minor Re:Holy Crap DO NOT WANT (125 comments)

But my calculator just keeps saying "E".

14 seems quite low for the expected markup.

3 days ago
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Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

serviscope_minor Re:Americans are known to be ignorant an shallow.. (371 comments)

Pretty sure the word he's going for is "effete".

Given the user in question, I would really not be surprised if he was actually going for "effeminate".

3 days ago
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2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

serviscope_minor Re:Marketspeak (125 comments)

Granted, with the Frozen tie in it is much more appealing to my 4 year old than my 14 year old daughter, Now to get my 10 year old son involved, you'll need to fall back to Lego... or Star Wars. Or Lego Star Wars.

There'd be much less pissing and moaning from the peanut gallery if that happened.

3 days ago
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2014 Hour of Code: Do Ends Justify Disney Product Placement Means?

serviscope_minor Re:If the goal is to interest girls in coding (125 comments)

No the book had one minor error. The title was mistakenly printed as:

"I can be a computer engineer"

when it was meant to be:

"I can be an MBA"

Once that fix is made everything makes perfect sense: come up with a high level "idea", find some sucker to do it for you, leave a trail of desctuction and then take all credit for the success.

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

serviscope_minor Re:I don't want to live in your future, mister. (453 comments)

You can keep your 'future' where people are...

BTW: paragaphs breaks are from the past not the future, so it's safe to use them.

3 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

serviscope_minor Re:Flawed, 'cos... (453 comments)

so the choice is buy a car for weekend driving and have freedom or pay the same amount of money for a socialist solution that will turn simple trips into special events you have to reserve long in advance

If as you suggest, everyone in NYC bought a car rather than paid for the "socialist soloution", no one would go anywhere ever because it would be permenantly gridlock the entire time.

3 days ago

Submissions

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Ask slashdot: Clusters on the cheap?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 3 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "Dear Slashdotters,

A friend of mine has recently started a research group. As usual with these things, she is on a shoestring budget and has computational demands. The computational task is very parallel (but implementing it on GPUs is an open research problem and not the topic of research), and very CPU bound.

Can slashdotters advise on a practical way of getting really high bang for buck? The budget is about 4000 GBP (excluding VAT/sales tax), though it is likely that the system will be expanded later.

The computers will probably end up running a boring Linux distro and Sun GridEngine to manage batch processing (with home directories shared over NFS?)."
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Best removable storage filesystem for Linux?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 4 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "What filesystem do you use for portable disks, especially large ones, under Linux? FAT is simply not very good. Using a proper filesystem (e.g. ext3) preserves the read/write permissions of the original machine which is rather annoying when the disk is moved to a different machine with differet user IDs. So is there a way to have a good filesystem that supports all the unixy things such as symlinks, and an execute bit, but does not require lots of chown'ing as root when moved to a different machine?"
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ARM Based netbook.

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 5 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "Shopping in Robert Dyas of all places (note to non English readers, this is a fairly generic hardware store and has only a small selection of electronics at best) I noticed Inkia ARM based netbooks being advertised, though careful readers will note that the specs seem to differ slightly. The specs are the usual netbook ones along with an 800x480 screen 64Meg RAM, 1G flash and a 400 (or maybe 533MHz) Samsung ARM processor and WinCE. So, it looks like the first non-x86 netbooks have arrived. Sadly, this one is rather expensive, being slightly cheaper than the EEE 2G, with a painfully small amount of RAM, less storage and battery power. But this brings up several interesting questions: are they going to get much cheaper, are there ones with more memory, and will it run OpenBSD? The specs are very similar to the Sharp Zaurus 3000 series which runs OpenBSD very well, but running Firefox in 64M is somewhat painful."
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Liquid explosives: no danger and no plot.

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 6 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "It has already been established in a previous article that bringing down an aircraft with liquid explosives mixed on a pllane would be very difficult. The men accused of the plot werer brought to trial and a verdict has now been reached. There was not enough evidence to convice any of them of targeting a plane. So apparently, there was not much evidence of a plot that could not have worked anyway."
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Good profiling tools for C/C++ unser un*x?

serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "It should be well known to any developer that you should only optimize parts of a program which need optimizing. And the way to find those parts is through profiling. This simplifies one point: profiling is difficult. The obvious way is to enable profiling in the compiler and use gprof, but this has problems. Firstly there is no point in profiling a program without turning on -O3 (or which ever), since this can change the results dramatically. Secondly, -O3 will inline functions which can ruin profiling results by making them far too coarse. Even if it doesn't do this, there is no way of determining which part of a function is taking up all the time. So that brings me to my question: does anyone know of profiling tools which do not suffer from these problems? My platform is C++ (using g++) on Linux."
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serviscope_minor serviscope_minor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

serviscope_minor (664417) writes "You heard earlier today that Dell will be shipping Ubuntu on selected models. Naturally, this is interesting to slashdotters. However, the interest generated by a wider audience will ultimately be more important. Well, apparently, this is the 3rd most popuar topic on the BBC at the moment. So apparently this is interesting to a general audience. I believe that this bodes very well for the future."

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